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Rental furniture: where to rent everything from coffee tables to sofas for more sustainable living

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Why simply buy furniture when you can rent something new every few months, passing it on to another new home and extending its lifespan while keeping your pad looking up to date with the latest interior trends? Here are the best platforms to rent furniture from.

In 2020 the interior design industry has being forced to change. The progression of social media and online shopping already meant that consumers had become inspired to decorate their homes in a different way. Instead of looking up to out-of-reach interior designers, influencers can now advise on the coolest new decor trends and, how to do them, at the click of an Instagram Reel. 

The fall of the high street and the increased amount of renters has meant that shopping for ‘keep forever’ furniture at big furniture stores feels like a nostalgic ritual of the past. These days, many people feel they may never own a home thanks to how difficult it is to get on the property ladder, which has seen the interior design industry and retailers react with new initiatives and schemes to keep their custom.

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Team this with consumer’s demands for more sustainable options and it makes sense that this move was on its way: renting furniture to keep up with the trends and no need to overcommit. 

The way it works, generally, is that you pay a monthly fee and that velvet sofa, accent chair or dining table that you’ve been lusting after is yours, often for a fixed amount of time. That is, until you fancy trading it in for a new one and handing yours back to be refurbished and reused. 

Schemes like this are already big in the US, but they’re starting to take off here in the UK, too. If you think this could be the answer to your interior design dreams check out the rental schemes below and explore a new way of furnishing your home. 

  • Harth

    Harth is the full package. With a stylish website and an ethos based on sustainability, this rental platform has listings that look like they’ve come straight out of a Pinterest board.

    As well as furniture you can rent home accessories and art, and you have the choice to buy something outright if you really love it. Delivery or pick up is then organised directly between you and the seller.

    Harth also does a curated service where you pick a package to suit your budget. You explain to the Harth team which room you’re looking to re-vamp and the vibe you want, then they’ll design it for you using rental furniture. It’s as easy as that. 

    To give you an idea of pricing, a velvet three seater sofa can be rented for £200 a month, while an industrial-style desk lamp can be rented for £10 a month.

  • John Lewis

    John Lewis made headlines this summer when it announced it would be trialling a furniture rental service in Greater London, with potential to expand to the rest of the UK, using the rental service Fat Lama.

    The service, which already has many items sold out online, allows you to rent furniture including desks, chairs, dining tables and sofas for three, six or twelve months. The idea is that payments are flexible. If you stretch out payments over a longer amount of time it will make the monthly amount shorter. Or, you can change your mind and buy the item at any time.

    Fat Llama will deliver the furniture within two working days and, if needed, help set it up. They will also collect the products at the end of the agreement which will be cleaned and refurbished before being rented again.

    In terms of prices, you’re looking at around £14 a month for a dining table, £23 for a sofa and £31 for an office chair – all dependent on individual product. 

  • Modern Art Hire

    Art buffs will love this service which allows you to rent pieces of art and sculptures, from both established and emerging artists. 

    The range of pieces available to rent are truly beautiful with a vast selection of styles and colour palettes. Plus, you can search within categories, for example, colour paintings or black and white, to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

    Prices are available on request, so get in touch to find out more.

  • Fat Llama

    Fat Llama may be supporting John Lewis’ venture into the rental world but this rental platform is already well established as a place to find your next piece of furniture – for now, anyway.

    Have a look at the website online or get the app and simply search for the type of item you’d like to rent and browse the options from people in your area.

    We will warn though, that prices seem much higher on Fat Llama than in retailers as they charge by the day instead of the month. Plus, the items aren’t new or refurbished, so you’d want to check the piece over before you take it.

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.